Common (surface) epithelial cancer of the ovary is epitomized by metastasis to organs of the abdominal cavity. Proteolytic enzymes, predominately those of the matrix metalloproteinase and plasminogen activator-plasmin systems, have been implicated as mediators of tissue invasion. This review highlights the salient features of ovarian cancer progression, the proteases involved, and experimental approaches of inhibition. Enzyme inhibitors hold promise in the treatment of early-stage and recurrent (following cytoreductive surgery) disease.
Keywords: matrix metalloproteinase, urokinase, kallikrein, ovarian cancer, protease inhibitor
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